Singapore Property News: 1st to 15th September 2016

Real Estate News

Property Market Activities

URA data: Developers must submit net prices for delicensed units sold (BT, 15 September 2016)

In a move seen as boosting the transparency of the property market, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will from this month require developers of delicensed projects to submit the net prices of units sold. This will align the price information for developers’ sales in delicensed projects with the net sale prices that developers of licensed projects have been required to submit weekly to the URA since May 2015.

Rents for private homes, HDB flats weaken in August, slipping 0.6%: SRX Property (ST, 14 September 2016)

Rents for non-landed private homes and HDB flats weakened in August, both slipping 0.6 per cent from July, according to flash estimates released by SRX Property. The rents for condominiums and private apartments softened by 1.5 per cent in the outlying districts and 0.6 per cent in the city fringes. But the prime districts saw rents rise by 0.5 per cent. An estimated 4,595 units were rented in August, a 3.4 per cent increase over the 4,443 units rented in June. Year on year, rental volume last month was 18.1 per cent higher than the 3,892 units rented in August 2015.

Singapore high-rise office rents decline by 7% as demand slows (BT, 15 September 2016)

Singapore landlords are paying the penalty for a slowing economy. Alone among the world’s major cities, the cost of renting an office with panoramic views is falling as supply outstrips demand. Annual rents on the upper floors of Singapore’s skyscrapers fell 7 per cent to about US$775 a square metre in the first six months, according to a 23-city index compiled by Knight Frank LLP. Vacancy rates in Singapore were 9 per cent in the second quarter, compared with 3.3 per cent in Shanghai, Knight Frank data show.

Resale condo prices ease for 2nd straight month: SRX Property (BT, 14 September 2016)

Resale prices of private apartments and condo units on the whole in Singapore have eased for the second consecutive month. SRX Property’s August flash estimate shows that its overall resale price index for non-landed private homes fell 0.8 per cent month on month. The overall price index for August 2016 was down 7.8 per cent from the recent peak in January 2014. SRX Property estimated that 817 non-landed private homes were resold last month – up 5.3 per cent from the 776 units resold in July 2016.

Whole-economy PMI edges up to 52.3 in August (BT, 6 September 2016)

Singapore firms posted an improvement in operating conditions in August, with the headline Nikkei Singapore purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rising to 52.3 from July’s 50.7. Although this represented only a modest strengthening, the latest reading signalled the fourth consecutive monthly improvement, said IHS Markit, the financial-information services provider which compiles the index. Both output and new orders rose further and more quickly than in the previous month.

MAS kneads out refinancing knots posed by TDSR (BT, 2 September 2016)

With 5-10 per cent of households here estimated to be highly leveraged, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) refined rules behind its debt-to-income threshold – better known as the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) – so that such borrowers will have more flexibility in refinancing their property loans. This extends from exemptions made in 2014 that were given to those who had bought properties before TDSR came into force. Consultants said the new rules will give little boost to demand in the property market, but create more room for refinancing by over leveraged borrowers.

Direction of DC rates reversed for three use groups – for six months (BT, 1 September 2016)

The government has reversed the direction of development charge (DC) rates for three key use groups for the Sept 1, 2016, to Feb 28, 2017, period – on the back of improved sentiment in the property investment sales market. In the latest revision, DC rates for commercial use were raised in 14 geographical sectors by between 4 per cent and 5.3 per cent – and left untouched in the remaining 104 sectors. Market watchers pointed to the three major office investment sales transactions in the second quarter of this year.

Public Housing

New HDB town in Tengah to be ‘forest town’ (BT, 9 September 2016)

The first public housing estate to be developed in two decades, Tengah, will be markedly different from existing estates. It will feature a car-free town centre; its lush greenery and community farms will also set it apart from other Housing & Development Board (HDB) towns. To be located in the west, Tengah will be about the size of Bishan, at about 700 ha. It is expected to have 30,000 public-housing units and 12,000 private ones when completed.

HDB resale volume up 19.5% in August: SRX (BT, 9 September 2016)

HDB resale transactions in August rose 19.5 per cent to 1,879 flats, compared to a month ago as prices slipped 0.7 per cent, according to estimates by SRX Property. The price dip reversed a 0.7 per cent month-on-month increase in HDB resale prices in July in a continued streak of monthly fluctuations seen this year. The drag in HDB resale prices in August came mainly from HDB three-room and five-room flats, each marking a 0.6 per cent decline from a month ago, after inching up 0.6 per cent in July.

Government Land Sales

Sale of rare Marina Bay land next to Asia Square set to fetch bumper price (ST, 2 September 2016)

The 1.1 hectare plot may fetch more than S$1.8 billion, according to market watchers, or S$1,200 per square foot of gross floor area. That would make it Singapore’s most expensive land sale since 2007, when the Asia Square Tower I plot sold at S$2.02 billion, or a rate of S$1,409 per square foot. The first sale of land in Singapore’s Marina Bay in nine years is set to fetch a bumper price as developers jockey for a piece of the sought-after financial district.

Investment Sales

JLL launches Leedon Park GCB for sale by tender (BT, 14 September 2016)

The vendors of 17 Leedon Park are expecting offers in the region of S$70 million to S$75 million, which works out to S$1,493 psf to S$1,599 psf on the land area. Built in the early 1990s, 17 Leedon Park comprises a two-storey bungalow with a built-up area of approximately 9,000 sqft equipped with a 21 m long in-ground swimming pool and a lavish garden. The property has a sprawling land area of about 46,879 sq ft, which is about 60 per cent the size of a football field. It is large enough to be sub-divided into three GCBs which require a minimum land area of 15,069 sq ft each.

The tender for 17 Leedon Park closes on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 2.30pm.

Holland V’s Cold Storage space sold (BT, 10 September 2016)

The owner of Rio Casino in Macau, Loi Keong Kuong, and his family are buying the space leased to Cold Storage on the ground floor of the freehold Holland Road Shopping Centre, sources said. The price, at slightly more than S$61 million, works out to S$4,976 per square foot (psf), based on the total strata area of 12,260 sq ft. The space comprises seven strata units, all of which are leased to Cold Storage under a long lease that expires in 2020.

Farrer Square’s last 6 medical suites offered for sale via EOI (BT, 6 September 2016)

Farrer Square’s remaining six medical suites are available for sale on a bulk or individual-unit basis; their indicative asking price is about S$5,100 per square foot (psf). The six units are the remaining medical suites in the 99-year leasehold project, which also houses ground-floor retail units and the 300-room Park Hotel Farrer Park, which is slated to receive Temporary Occupation Permit in the fourth quarter of this year.

The expression-of-interest (EOI) exercise will close on Oct 6.

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